By Kendra Sheehan Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) — New York State Department of Transportation held an open house at the Oncenter to discuss the future of Interstate 81. This marked the first meeting with the public since the 15,000-page report was released citing the community grid as the best option for Syracuse.
The I-81 project is a $2 billion proposed plan to reconstruct major parts of Syracuse’s highways. State officials hoped this public forum would be a chance for community members to discuss any concerns they have and offer new suggestions.
Community member Aleris Bizarro-Lopz had several concerns regarding additional commute times as well as the homeowners that could be displaced due to the reconstruction.
“I am wondering where they are going to place individuals living in the area by the pioneer homes that are going to be displaced,” said Bizarro-Lopz. “They talk about giving them temporary housing or vouchers but what is that actually going to look like. What is the real plan in place?”
I-81 project director Mark Frechette said this forum is crucial in engaging the public.
“I’ll be the first to say the Department of Transportation doesn’t have all the answers,” said Frechette. “This is a very complicated project and were hear to listen as well as provide new information to the public.”
Another open forum will be held on June 25 from 6-8 p.m. at Henninger High School off Robinson Street.